Red tide claiming Pinellas County jobs, costing businesses
Pinellas County beach businesses reported 50 temporary layoffs and nine permanent layoffs associated with loss of business due to red tide.
Forty-nine businesses self-reported losses totaling more than $1.5 million. Businesses reported losses through the Florida Damage Assessment program providing relief to businesses affected.
Red tide continues to plague almost all of Pinellas County’s Gulf beaches, with conditions improving or worsening based on wind and weather patterns.
Businesses affected have several other relief options including interest-free loans through the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan assistance program. Applications for loans up to $50,000 will be taken until Dec. 3. Businesses with two to 100 employees are eligible. Businesses have 180 days to repay the loans.
The Small Business Administration Business Recovery Center in Pinellas County is open at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter in Clearwater. There, businesses can review options for recovery assistance or to apply for low-interest working capital loans with terms up to 30 years. Businesses have until next June to apply for those loans.
As of Wednesday the John’s Pass Seafood and Music Festival will take place as scheduled Thursday-Sunday. All of Pinellas County’s beaches remain open.
The county monitors